112 x 97 x 13 cm
early 20th century
The relief shows the turning-point in the story of Orpheus and Eurydice. According to the myth, the poet Orpheus descended into the Underworld to reclaim his dead wife, Eurydice, whom the gods, enchanted by his song, returned to him, under one condition: he should not look back until they reach the light. Orpheus, holding his lyre, appears on the right — he has just turned back to Eurydice, who walked behind him. Their hands touch for the last time. But the figure of Hermes — the guide of dead souls in the Underworld — has already appeared. It is now Hermes who holds the hand of Eurydice in a gesture typical of marriage. She now belongs to him.